100 Years Later, Who Matters?


My Great Grandparents

No one.


This morning, I was reading a news story about Apple Inc’s succession plans. Co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs was credited with turning around the company from near bankruptcy in 1997 to one with the “highest valuation of any technology company” in just 15 years.

It got me wondering. Jobs has so much media coverage today. But will anyone care (or even remember) 100 years from now?

Now, that’s speculation. But easier to validate by looking backwards. To one hundred years ago.

Who was the tech CEO darling of 1911, do you know?

Or which business barons have lasted long enough in the public memory to be iconic after so long?

I Googled 1911, and found this on Wikipedia.

On April 8, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered “Superconductivity”, the concept that powered development of MRI scanners and mass spectrometers and particle accelerators.

On December 29, Sun Yat-sen‘s revolutionaries overthrew the Qing dynasty to become the first President of the Republic of China (and he became the ‘Father of modern China’).

New Zealand-born British physicist Ernest Rutherford deduced the existence of a compact atomic nucleus from scattering experiments that year.

But even mighty Google has precious little about business leaders and entrepreneurs – though there were no doubt dozens who hogged the media limelight and were ‘today’s heroes’ even in those early years!

And that got me thinking –

Who matters… 100 years later?

Obviously not the media superstars. That flash vanishes fast. So who does?

Look at yourself in the mirror.

Go on. Do it now.


What do you see grinning back at you?

That’s the composite (and evolved) result of real people who lived one hundred years before.

Your grand-parents.

And their parents.

Your ancestors.

Their genes live on in YOU. You probably remember them as people. If not, you’ve heard things about them from your own parents or relatives.

They matter – because they live on in you.

In your memories.

In your genes.

Just as you will… in future generations to come.

So… EVERYONE matters – 100 years from now.

Yes, even you.

And me 🙂